The U.S. Army is planning its return to Twitch. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently proposed an amendment that would have prevented the Army from recruiting through livestreaming platforms, but after the amendment failed to pass, it appears the Army is planning a return to recruiting through Twitch.
In a statement provided to Kotaku, a spokesperson for the U.S. Army confirmed that the Army plans on returning to Twitch at an unspecified point in the future, after it halted livestreaming on the service around a month ago. After banning multiple users for asking about war crimes committed by the U.S. Army in Twitch chat, the organization ultimately halted streaming through Twitch shortly before Ocasio-Cortez proposed an amendment to Trump's military spending budget that would have halted the Army and Navy from recruiting users through livestreaming platforms.
Now that Ocasio-Cortez's amendment has failed to pass into law, the Army is planning its return to Twitch. "The U.S. Army Esports Team is reinstating access for accounts previously banned for harassing and degrading behaviour on its Twitch stream," the statement provided to Kotaku reads. "The team is reviewing and clarifying its policies and procedures for the stream and will provide all who have been banned the opportunity to participate in the space as long as they follow the team's guidelines."
The "harassing and degrading behaviour" mentioned in the statement seems like it refers to users being banned for asking about war crimes committed by the U.S. Army. Considering the history of war crimes still being committed to this day by the Army, I severely doubt any users allowed to return to the Army's streams will adhere to the new imposing guidelines set by the Army.
The Army and Navy's recruitment tactics through Twitch have been rightly criticized by many, including the ACLU, who said that the Army banning users for asking about war crimes is a violation of free speech rights. Ocasio-Cortez has been highly critical of such tactics, saying that "it's incredibly irresponsible for the Army and Navy to be recruiting impressionable young people and children via live streaming platforms. War is not a game, and the Marine Corps' decision not to engage in this recruiting tool should be a clear signal to the other branches of the military to cease this practice entirely."
The Army and Navy's prior recruitment tactics included giveaways and competitions that take winners to recruitment pages for the organizations. The Army previously said it might not return to livestreaming until Spring 2021, and they haven't set a new return date in light of Ocasio-Cortez's amendment failing to pass.